The Nashville Predators have always revolved around having an outstanding goalie in net, and with Pekka Rinne out for at least a few more weeks the team could be looking for a boost. Carter Hutton hasn’t proven capable of providing the quality goaltending that the Preds require to be successful, and according to Pierre LeBrun of TSN, Nashville is kicking tires on Jonas Hiller of the Anaheim Ducks.
Anaheim has three netminders that could start on just about any team in the NHL, and it’ likely that they’ll move one of them prior to the trade deadline. Obviously, the question is: what’s the asking price?
Considering how long the Buffalo Sabres have waited for the right deal to come along for Ryan Miller, it’s pretty clear that the market for help in net is thin. Several teams could use a short-term boost, but no one has been willing to part with a long-term asset to fill that need.
With the timetable for Rinne still very much up in the air, the Predators could be the first team to make a rental netminder a reality. They’ve lost three consecutive games now and only have two victories in their last seven tries. They’ve given up at least four goals in five of those seven contests, and it’s pretty clear where the weakness on this team is.
Hutton was brought in to be a rarely used backup, not to lead the Predators to the playoffs. He’s done his darndest, but it hasn’t been nearly good enough. His .887 save percentage is good for 35th in the NHL, while his 3.53 GAA is 38th. That simply won’t do, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see Nashville make a move to shore up their net very soon.